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Southlake Swine Flu Outbreak

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George Dawson middle school in Southlake is home to more than 600 students, and as of Wednesday night, more than 30 of them are home and being treated for swine flu.

Students were sent home with a letter explaining the cases are mild and also offering tips for families to stay healthy. Principal Ryan Wilson says schools need to be on the ball.

"I think this district, like so many others beginning last spring, started putting some of these procedures in place and obviously it's not going away anytime soon," he says.

Elaine Allison has two daughters, a seventh grader and an eight grader. She says the spread of H1N1 is alarming.

"It's definitely a concern, especially since they say the age that can be most heavily effected by it are people twelve to their early twenties and I have two teenage daughters, so I am definitely concerned," she says.

The swine flu arrived at Dawson on Friday and in just a couple of days the number of cases jumped from one to more than thirty. Kids who are diagnosed at school wear a mask while their parents come to pick them up. The districts plan is that when absenteeism reaches 10%, a crisis team gathers to figure out how much longer the school can stay open.

"That ten percent is only to call in the crisis team and start the discussion." Says Carroll ISD Spokesperson Julie Thannum. "It's not an automatic trigger to close the campus," she says.

That is in stark contrast to this spring when many schools closed nationwide, including the entire Fort Worth School System, with only a few confirmed cases.

Tonight, at least five Carroll campuses have confirmed cases of type a influenza. Michelle Tucker's daughter was diagnosed on Monday.

She's emailing friends and warning them that symptoms are mild, almost like an allergy. With an H1N1 vaccine still more than a month away, she says her family is playing it safe.

"We are wiping down our house, Lysoling the car, Lysoling everything and just trying to wash our hands. That's all you can really do."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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